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Kubernetes on AWS (kube-aws)

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Note: The master branch may be in an unstable or even broken state during development. Please use releases instead of the master branch in order to get stable binaries.

kube-aws is a command-line tool to create/update/destroy Kubernetes clusters on AWS.


  • Create, update and destroy Kubernetes clusters on AWS
  • Review changes before applying
  • Highly available and scalable Kubernetes clusters backed by multi-AZ deployment and Node Pools
  • Deployment to an existing VPC
  • Powered by various AWS services including CloudFormation, KMS, Auto Scaling, Spot Fleet, EC2, ELB, S3, etc.

Getting Started / Manual

View the latest manual for kube-aws

Check out our getting started tutorial to launch your first Kubernetes cluster on AWS.

Global options

Each command supports following options:

  • -s --silent do not show messages
  • -v --verbose show debug messages
  • --color use color for messages


Generate cluster.yaml:

$ mkdir my-cluster
$ cd my-cluster
$ kube-aws init --cluster-name=my-cluster \
--s3-uri=s3://examplebucket/mydir \
--external-dns-name=<my-cluster-endpoint> \
--region=us-west-1 \
--availability-zone=us-west-1c \
--key-name=<key-pair-name> \

Here us-west-1c is used for parameter --availability-zone, but supported availability zone varies among AWS accounts. Please check if us-west-1c is supported by aws ec2 --region us-west-1 describe-availability-zones, if not switch to other supported availability zone. (e.g., us-west-1a, or us-west-1b)

Generate assets:

$ kube-aws render credentials --generate-ca
$ kube-aws render stack

View generated certificates:

$ kube-aws show certificates

Validate configuration:

$ kube-aws validate


$ kube-aws apply

# Or export your cloudformation stack and dependent assets into the `exported/` directory
$ kube-aws apply --export

# Access the cluster
$ KUBECONFIG=kubeconfig kubectl get nodes --show-labels


# Modify your cluster.yaml
$ $EDITOR cluster.yaml

# Reviews changes to cfn stacks and EC2 userdata
$ kube-aws diff --context 3 --color

# Update all the cfn stacks including the one for control-plane and the ones for worker node pools
$ kube-aws apply


# Destroy all the cfn stacks including the one for control-plane and the ones for worker node pools. Use `--force` for skip confirmation. 
$ kube-aws destroy

Other Resources

Extra or advanced topics in for kube-aws:

The following links can be useful for development:

Please feel free to reach out to the kube-aws community on: #kube-aws in the kubernetes slack

Kubernetes Incubator

This is a Kubernetes Incubator project. The project was established 2017-03-15. The incubator team for the project is:

  • Sponsor: Tim Hockin (@thockin)
  • Champion: Mike Danese (@mikedanese)
  • SIG: sig-aws

Code of conduct

Participation in the Kubernetes community is governed by the Kubernetes Code of Conduct.


Submit a PR to this repository, following the contributors guide.

Details of how to develop kube-aws are in our Developer Guide.